SLIDESHOW: 5 Retail Tricks to Get You to Spend More
- Forced to Turn Right
Turns out shoppers instinctively turn right and that's where you'll find all the big elaborate displays of the items the stores are pushing for the season. A lot of it are store brand items that the store is pushing for gift ideas, but a lot of it is not actually on sale. In fact, the clearance items are usually downstairs or towards the back of the store and you have to push through the big store brand item displays just to get to them. So, why do we all turn right? Probably because most of us are right-handed. The right-hand thoroughfare in any store is the busiest, so it's the perfect place to put any high-profit merchandise.
- The Speed Bump
Stores will stop at nothing to get you to spend time in their aisles just a little bit longer because studies show if you slow down while you shop, you will end up spending 8% more. One of the ways stores slow you down is through carpet. Suddenly, the cart gets much heavier to push and when most people don't feel like pushing anymore, they simply leave the cart in the aisle and start buying items. Pretty soon, they've lost sight of their cart and they're surrounded by all the merchandise. Stores can also slow people down using other speed bumps like a table of clothing, an attention grabbing sign or even a greeter. Stores know that people tend to walk at a brisk clip from the parking lot, so the first ten feet in a store is the most likely place you will see these traps to try and slow you down. They even call the first ten feet "The Transition Zone" for this very reason.
- Store Credit Cards
This is the number one retail rip-off of them all and any store that knows what it's doing instructs its counter jockeys to push these like they're going out of style. Why? It works and people fall for the save now, pay later trick all the time. They don't even use the words store credit, preferring to go with the much more positive sounding, "rewards." They also bait you with, "Would you like to put that on your rewards card?" So, the next thing out of your mouth almost always is, "What's a rewards card?" and they can get you with the customary schpeil. So, what's so bad? Well, if you buy four sweaters at $200 with the added 20% off from the rewards card, but you can't pay it off right away and spend seven months paying off at 29% APR, thanks to the small limit the store gives you, you could've actually bought eight sweaters with the money you were using to pay off the outstanding balance. It can also hurt your credit rating because you'll lose ten to 30 points every time you don't pay it off. Plus, the more store credit cards you open, the more your credit is ruined and it can stay with you for two years.
- Deceptive Signage
Retailers know that visibility is the key to the impulse buy. If shoppers see it they will buy it, especially if it says "50% off." However, next to the items on sale there are items being sold at regular price, but because of their close proximity to the items on sale many people think these items are at a reduced price as well. However, many times they are offered at the same price you can find them at another store. So look carefully and think for yourself, just because an item is next to something on sale doesn't mean it's also on sale. Don't fall into these traps and next time, think for yourself.
- Strategic Placement
Stores will often place items right at the counter just to try and get you for that last minute impulse buy from the customer. High-priced goods are usually placed within easy reach on store shelves, while low-priced items are placed in areas that are not within easy reach and have to be hunted for. Often time, products will be put in some sort of bin or in a particular area to suggest they are a bargain. However, they maybe reduced only minimally or not really at all. Many times, stores are hoping you'll take what you can see without hunting for the cheaper alternatives that are harder to find. Even the washrooms are strategically placed at the back of the store, so that shoppers are forced to go through the store and hopefully will buy something before they reach them. No store wants to make it easy for you, they just want your money. Soft cashmere sweaters are also often placed at the front of the store because stores know that you are more likely to buy an item if you touch it, so they use as much temptation as they can.